Abstract We examined motivational orientations, cognitive–metacognitive strategies, and resource management in predicting academic achievement. Undergraduates (407) completed the Motivated Strategies Learning Questionnaire, Implicit Theories of Intelligence Scale, Achievement Goal Inventory, and self-reported grade point average. A MANCOVA (controlling for sex and age) indicated that low self-efficacy students tended to believe intelligence is innate and unchangeable and high self-efficacy students pursued mastery goals involving challenge and gaining new knowledge as well as performance goals involving good grades and outperforming others. Further, hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that self-efficacy, effort regulation, and help-seeking predicted 18% of the variance in GPA. Interestingly, effort regulation partially mediated the relationship between self-efficacy and GPA. Overall, self-efficacious students are able to achieve academically because they monitor and self-regulate their impulses and persist in the face of difficulties. We discuss implications of these findings for educators seeking to strengthen both self-efficacy and effort regulation towards increasing academic achievement.